Modified: January 29, 2021 11:52am
Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz issued the following statement in response to continued attacks on Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein:
“Dr. Burstein is performing two full-time jobs at this point: running the day-to-day operations of the Health Department, which are vast, and leading our community’s efforts responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic, which includes coordinating with our many partners to slow the spread of the virus and plan and implement delivery of the vaccine. To complete her tasks she works many hours during the day and even during the overnight hours. As evidence of that, this morning when I woke up, I received e-mail messages from her sent last night at 11:21 pm, 12:20 am, 1:00 am, 1:14 am and 3:52 am on topics related to the Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis. This is normal for her during the Pandemic.
It is disappointing that in a time of pandemic the comptroller chooses to focus his energy on attacking the Health Commissioner in charge of leading Erie County’s response to COVID-19. While the rest of the county is unified and concentrating on battling the coronavirus, he continues to politicize and undermine public health. As he should know, all COVID-19 related overtime earned by county employees is authorized by the U.S. Treasury as an appropriate use of CRF funding.
Furthermore, to clear up another misperception that he likes to push, none of the employees in his ‘report’ are salaried employees but are all hourly workers. The only salaried employees in Erie County government are its elected officials; we get paid the same whether we work 80+ hours in a week, as I have done during the Pandemic, or 10 or less, as it appears others have done. All other employees are paid based on the hours they work.”
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